Content tagged with "Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines"

Russian Olive

russian olive
Elaeagnus angustifolia
This small tree with distinctive silvery leaves was introduced to America in the late 1800s and widely planted as an ornamental and windbreak. However, in the Great Plains and western states it has proven to be invasive, where it outcompetes native vegetation and causes a host of ecological problems. Although it's not as invasive in the eastern United States, it could become a problem here in Missouri. More

Sandbar Willow

sandbar willow
Salix interior
Sandbar willow is a good soil binder and bank stabilizer; it prevents washing and erosion of alluvial soil. Each year, Missouri sells about $7 billion of agricultural products, and agriculture (whether crops or livestock) depends intimately on soil—so we don't want it to wash away! More


Sassafras albidum
Long considered a source for medicinal tea, sassafras should not be consumed anymore—by humans at least. This tree, with its aromatic oval, mitten- and trident-shaped leaves, supplies the perfect food for the larvae of a host of spectacular butterflies and moths. More

Scarlet Oak

scarlet oak
Quercus coccinea
Scarlet oak is a common tree of the Missouri Ozarks, occupying much the same area that shortleaf pine used to dominate before it was so extensively cut prior to the 1920s. More

Scotch Pine (Scots Pine)

scotch pine
Pinus sylvestris
This nonnative pine is one of America's favorite Christmas trees; it has also been popular for screening and as a landscaping ornamental. Unfortunately, it is very susceptible to the pine wilt nematode, a roundworm that kills the trees it infects usually within months. More

Sesbania (Bequilla; Coffee-Weed; Hemp Sesbania)

Photo of sesbania flowers and foliage
Sesbania herbacea (formerly S. exaltata)
Sesbania, a type of legume, may become a troublesome exotic species in wetland communities that are managed for waterfowl. More

Shagbark Hickory

Image of a shagbark hickory leaf
Carya ovata
Many Missouri trees are quite useful, and shagbark hickory is a great example. Its wood makes excellent, slow-burning charcoal, its nuts are edible and its wood is used for many implements. Wildlife from moths to squirrels to bats appreciate shagbarks, too! More

Shellbark Hickory (Big Shagbark Hickory)

Image of a shellbark hickory bark
Carya laciniosa
This is the largest of the true hickories and has the best-tasting hickory nuts in Missouri. Compared to shagbark hickory, it has larger leaves and more leaflets, plus large nuts and orange twigs. More

Shingle Oak

shingle oak
Quercus imbricaria
Shingle oak got its name because the naturalist who discovered it noticed that French colonists in Illinois were using it to make roofing shingles. You can identify shingle oak by its leaves, which lack lobes or teeth—they look like laurel (or bay) leaves—but only oak trees bear acorns! More

Shortleaf Pine

shortleaf pine
Pinus echinata
Existing in thousands of acres of nearly pure stands, shortleaf pine was once the dominant tree in much of the Missouri Ozarks. Today, Missouri’s only native pine tree is recovering from the extensive logging that had exhausted its old-growth stands by the 1920s. More